The first French same-sex marriage has taken place in the city of Montpellier.
Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau tied the knot amid tight security to become the first married gay couple in France since the law reform last month.
The two exchanged vows in an emotional ceremony held in the city hall in front of the mayor, friends and family, as well as nearly 200 journalists.
The marriage-for-all law has split the country and just days before the wedding more than a hundred and fifty thousand opponents took to the streets of Paris in protest. More than 350 people were arrested after the demonstration turned violent.
Newly wed Vincent Autin thanked the public for their support: “The real symbol is this solidarity that was born among the people who made our marriage possible today. The symbol is love. It triumphed over a bit of hatred. And I think that nothing is more beautiful than love. In our society we have to love. This society is difficult enough, so please I beg you, love each other, love us, let us love, because it’s very important.”
Despite a strong police presence, who were prepared for clashes, spirits ran high at the event and protesters stayed away.
The new law makes France the 14th country in the world and the 9th in Europe to legalise same-sex marriage.
Euronews’ journalist Francois Chignc was in Montpellier for the historical event, “As we’ve seen here, a normally private affair was made very public in this room in the City of Montpellier. The question now is whether this union between two people of the same sex will be the death of any opposition or if it will further radicalise the movement.”